School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

MAE 476/576: Mechatronics

Spring 2003

[ University at Buffalo] - [ College of Engineering ] - [ MAE Department ] - [Automation Robotics & Mechatronics Lab]


Team Formation

Relevant Links

Student Survey Form – Please fill in so that we can go ahead with Team Formation


The intent of this course is to provide the student with a cooperative working experience within an interdisciplinary team. Students will obtain practical experience with the design process, and learn specific technical topics covered in lecture and used in the project in addition to tackling real-life issues of project management encountered in multi-member teams.

During the first week of class, each student will be asked to complete a questionnaire about their technical background. The class will then be divided into teams of three students (under exceptional circumstances larger teams may be considered) and tangible deliverables will be due from each team periodically.

Responsibilities of the Students

If you are not serious about taking this class, please drop the class. People who drop the class late in the semester will affect their team's progress. In the event of late drops or other unavoidable problems, the instructor will try to compensate for some of the grading.

Team members will be selected based on various skills and each member has basic responsibilities to their team. These responsibilities include timely attendance in class and at pre-scheduled out-of-class group meetings and active involvement in all assigned tasks. Individuals are expected to help their team-member(s) learn and participate in their area of expertise. Individuals are not to focus completely on their area of expertise but are expected to demonstrate a willingness to cross disciplinary boundaries and provide effort on mechanical, electrical, and control aspects of tasks.

Only one demonstration/report will be accepted for each task assignment. All team members are expected to attend their demonstrations; a penalty will be assessed to individuals who are not in attendance. After all demonstrations for the day are completed, we will have a group discussion of things that went right and things that went wrong.

Each team is expected to work completely independently of the other teams on the common lab exercises. Groups may collaborate with each other on their final projects. However, each group will remain responsible for completion of its own project and submission of the report.

Within each group, each member will assume an equitable portion of the technical tasks including all aspects of design, implementation and report writing. Although gathering of information or materials for design or prototype are important, by themselves such tasks are not considered technical and therefore will not be counted as satisfactory workload. The extent of each individual’s participation will be assessed by the instructor through out the semester on the basis of class involvement and the self- and partner-assessment reports. . In the final count, grades will have to be assigned to each student individually. Therefore each student is required to be involved in a meaningful way in the engineering tasks involved at each stage of the design cycle starting from concept development, to prototype, to testing, to communication of the results.

Self and Partner-Assessment E-mail Reports:

On the Friday of each week, each student is required to send a brief (3-10 sentence) status report of their implementation efforts by email to the instructors and cc'ing their teammates. This e-mail report will focus on the individual and team's progress with respect to (w.r.t) the lab exercises (in the first half of the semester) and w.r.t the final project (in the latter half of the semester). The email must include an assessment of that individual's work from last week, and the individual's planned work for the week. Teammates are encouraged to coordinate responses prior to sending their email. Points for individuals (in contrast to the overall team score) are embedded in the task scores on the basis of the weekly email and on possible follow-up interviews with the individual students. 



Member #1
(Name, e-mail)

Member #2
(Name, e-mail)